John of Arsuf

John of Arsuf

John of Ibelin (c. 1211 – 1258) was the Lord of Arsuf (or Arsur) from 1236 and Constable of Jerusalem from 1251. He was a younger son of John I of Beirut. His elder brother, Balian, inherited Beirut. He served as regent of Jerusalem on two occasions: 1253-1254 for Conrad II and 1256-1258 for Conrad III. He was lieutenant for the regent on three occasions: 1247-1248 and 1249-1252 for Henry I of Cyprus and 1258 for Plaisance of Antioch.

John strengthened the existing fortifications of Arsuf in 1241. In that year he co-signed a letter with his brother, Philip of Montfort, and Geoffrey of Estraing to the Emperor Frederick II, nominal regent of Jerusalem. The letter, which had the encouragement of Richard of Cornwall behind it, proposed that Frederick pardon all baronial rebels and create Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, bailiff. The barons would in turn swear oaths to Simon and recognise his authority until the young king, Conrad II, came of age (1243). It was refused.

John, like his father, was learned in law and he re-used some of the legal arguments which his father had employed in his long career. In February 1251, shortly after becoming the lieutenant ("bailli") of Jerusalem on behalf of the regent, Henry of Cyprus, John called a council of liegemen in the palace of his relatives, the lords of Beirut, in Acre. There he proposed that the courts employ scribes to keep written records in the French language and that the Haute Cour of Jerusalem should do the same, sealing their records in a locked chest, the keys to which were to be held by the regent or his lieutenant and two elected liegemen. These reforms were accepted by the barons. The reform of the burgess court was enacted by 1269, but the reform of the Haute Cour was put off until 1286.

While the Seventh Crusade drew Muslim soldiers away from Palestine, John led an expedition against Bethsan in early 1250. He devastated a nearby camp and captured 16,000 animals and one emir.

In 1252, John witnessed the creation of two new gates in the Hospitaller complex in Acre and the consequent creation of a new public road. In 1253 John succeeded Henry of Cyprus as regent for a few months until 1254 on behalf of the absentee king Conrad. In 1256 he was again appointed regent for the minor Conrad III.

In 1257 he confirmed a treaty with the city of Ancona granting it commercial rights in Acre in return for aid of fifty men-at-arms for two years. Though Ancona was an ally of the Republic of Genoa and John sought by his treaty to bring the feudatories — most of whom were onside — to support Genoa against Venice in the War of Saint Sabas, his plan ultimately backfired and John of Jaffa and John II of Beirut engineered a coup to make Plaisance of Antioch, the estranged wife of John's son Balian, bailiff on behalf of the regent Hugh II of Cyprus. John accepted the coup and reconciled with Plaisance and Bohemond VI of Antioch. When Plaisance returned to Cyprus he was again put in charge as lieutenant.

In 1258 he negotiated the treaty between the military orders, the Hospitallers, Templars, and Teutonic Knights, which regulated their relationship. He was succeeded as constable on his death (lieutenant) by Geoffrey of Sergines, appointed by Plaisance. He had married Alice, daughter of Rohard of Haifa. His son and successor in Arsuf was Balian.


*Marshall, Christopher. "Warfare in the Latin East, 1192–1291". Cambridge University Press, 1992.
*Riley-Smith, Jonathan. "The Feudal Nobility and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1174–1277". Archon Books, 1973.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut — John of Ibelin (c. 1179 ndash; 1236), called the Old Lord of Beirut, was a powerful crusader noble in the 13th century. He was the son of Balian, Lord of Nablus and Ibelin, and Maria Comnena, widow of Amalric I of Jerusalem. By 1198 he had become …   Wikipedia

  • John of Ibelin (jurist) — John of Ibelin (1215 ndash; December 1266), count of Jaffa and Ascalon, was a noted jurist and the author of the longest legal treatise from the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He was the son of Philip of Ibelin, bailli of the Kingdom of Cyprus, and Alice… …   Wikipedia

  • John of Ibelin — may refer to:*John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut (1179 1236), constable of Jerusalem, regent of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, regent of the Kingdom of Cyprus, and an opponent of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor *John II of Beirut (died 1264),… …   Wikipedia

  • Arsuf — ( he. אַרְסוּף, ארשוף, ar. أرصف) also known as Arsur or Apollonia, was an ancient city and fortress located in Israel, about 15 kilometres north of modern Tel Aviv, on a cliff above the Mediterranean Sea. The city site, Tel Arsuf, was intensively …   Wikipedia

  • Melisende of Arsuf — Sovereign Dame of Arsuf Lady of Beirut Spouse(s) Thierry d Orca John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut Issue Balian of Beirut John of Arsuf Raoul of Ibelin Hugh of Ibelin (died 1238) Baldwin of Ibelin, Seneschal of Cyprus Guy of Ibelin, con …   Wikipedia

  • Balian of Arsuf — Balian of Ibelin (1239 ndash; 29 September 1277) was the Lord of Arsuf from 1258 until the early 1260s (probably 1261), when he sold it to the Knights Hospitaller. He was the son and successor of John of Arsuf, Constable of Jerusalem. At the time …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Arsuf — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Arsuf caption= partof=the Third Crusade date=September 7, 1191 place=Arsuf result=Crusader victory combatant1= combatant2= commander1=Richard I of EnglandRobert de Sable commander2=Saladin strength1=20 …   Wikipedia

  • Ibelin — was a castle in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century (at modern Yavne, coord|31.820|N|34.713|E|), which gave its name to an important family of nobles. The castleThe site of Ibelin had been occupied since ancient times; the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kingdom of Jerusalem — Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem Regnum Hierosolimitanum Roiaume de Jherusalem Regno di Gerusalemme Βασίλειον τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων مملكة بيت المقدس ממלכת ירושלים ← …   Wikipedia

  • Vassals of the Kingdom of Jerusalem — The Crusader state of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, created in 1099, was divided into a number of smaller seigneuries.IntroductionAccording to the 13th century jurist John of Ibelin the four highest barons in the kingdom proper were: * the Count of… …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.